Football: Five captains named during media day

Florida Atlantic football held its annual preseason media day on Sunday with the Sept. 3 season opener looming.

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Brandon Harrington

Head football coach Charlie Partridge addresses reporters during Florida Atlantic football's media day Sunday. Brandon Harrington | Staff Photographer

Brendan Feeney, Sports Editor

The Florida Atlantic football team focused mostly on sentimental moments while avoiding serious team-based decisions during Sunday’s media day.

Neither of the two quarterbacks fighting for the starting position, redshirt sophomore Jason Driskel and redshirt freshman Daniel Parr, were able to breathe a sigh of relief as head coach Charlie Partridge did not announce a starter at their position for the season yet.

However, eight other players were rewarded for their respective efforts.

Head coach Charlie Partridge revealed the team’s five captains, as voted by the players, on Saturday night. He publicly announced the names of the captains during media day:

  • Graduate student tight end Tyler Cameron
  • Redshirt senior center Dillon DeBoer
  • Senior defensive end Trey Hendrickson
  • Redshirt junior wide receiver Kalib Woods
  • Sophomore linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair

Hendrickson stood out to outsiders as a primary choice. Conference USA coaches named the program’s career-sack leader the conference’s defensive player of the year during the preseason, but that isn’t the sole reason his teammates voted him as a captain.

“It’s not about the best player, It’s not about the most popular guy, It’s about the guy that will work to hold other teammates accountable and make sure that everyone around him is doing what we expect,” Partridge said.

Al-Shaair became the first sophomore captain since the 2012 season, when several sophomores shared the honor. Al-Shaair was one of only five captains named this year, while 2012 saw 15 players act as captain.

He earned a spot on USA Today and Scout’s 2015 Freshman All-America Teams as well on Conference USA’s All-Conference Team.

“I’m just honored, for my peers to vote me as a captain,” said the sophomore. “It was something I couldn’t even explain … it’s just a blessing, I’m going to try to be the best leader for my team.”

Though Partridge didn’t vote, he was satisfied by the results.

“I’m really proud of who our team elected and what was fun was if you look at other vote getters there was another five or six guys who would have also been very good captains and we’re going to continue to lean on them as if they are captains,” Partridge said. “These five guys, since the season began in January, have displayed a selfless attitude and a relentless desire to help this team succeed and our players feel that.”

Saturday night was also a special occasion for three other Owls, as Partridge rewarded redshirt junior defensive lineman Haiden Nagel and redshirt senior defensive backs Alfred Ansley III and Anthony Hamilton with scholarships.

“We were able to reward three players that came through this program the hard way, had to earn everything they’ve done since they walked in,” Partridge said.

The coach had the three players stand in front of their teammates and sing the school’s fight song when a screen behind the three displayed the news.

It was a fun moment, they didn’t know it was coming,” Partridge said. “The team lost it. There were some tears in the room and it was a special moment for those three and the football team.”

FAU’s preseason camp concludes on Wednesday. Then the Owls will have 10 days to get ready for their Sept. 3 opener against Southern Illinois University at FAU Stadium.

“I’m very excited about how our preseason camp is going,” Partridge said. “We are a young football team, there’s times we still see that youth. But if we can help them mature quickly as men and as football players, that’s going to be critical to our success on the field this season … I do feel something very special rising with this football team.”

Brendan Feeney is the sports editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @feeney42.